Homepage focus: Google

We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again. Identify your visitors’ top tasks and build your website around them.

What do you use Google for?

Ask 100 people this question and I guarantee you that at least 99 answers will contain the word ‘search’.

A small group of people will also talk about things like Gmail and Google Maps.

An even smaller group will talk about Google Adwords, AdSense, Analytics etc. The stuff that only web professionals really know about.

Top task: search

Because search is the absolute top task people visit Google for, the new Google homepage focuses on it for the full 100%.

Strange?
Not at all. Search is what 99% of people visit Google for. Give people what they want.

Less important tasks: less prominent on the homepage

If you move your mouse over the screen, you get to see more. The other important tasks, like Gmail and Maps are at the top. Below the search are the things Google actually earns money with: the advertising programs and the business solutions.

A bold move?
Not really. Though it is true most people lack the courage to do this on their own website.

Google puts the stuf that generates revenue in the background. Most CEOs and web managers are afraid to do that. But at Google, they realise it’s not the advertising programs that generate the revenue, it’s the millions of people who ‘google’ every day. Why do they google every day? Because the website is so deliciously simple.

How do you identify your website’s top tasks?

We can help you on your way with user research.
That way, you can base your website on facts instead of opinions or feelings.

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  • david

    Usability bloggers really should stop using Google as “the perfect example”. Google is a search engine, and it doesn’t look much different than other search engines did before it. The sparse look of search engines only works because their top task is so very specific. Most other types of website either try to sell something or try to offer information. Neither of these tasks can be completed with a simple input box and a button, they actually require content.

    Pointing to Google was probably meaningless for a large percentage of you visitors. It illustrates the point, sure. But it does not actually provide any useful tips or information for people who are working on something that is not a search engine.

  • http://www.agconsult.be Karl Gilis

    David,

    With all respect but Google is much, much more than a search engine. They have more products and services than most companies…

    One of the main reasons everybody sees Google as the search engine, is because of the focus on their core service.

    This article is not saying you should simplify your homepage to a search box, but that you should leave out everything than can be left out. And that’s much, much more than most marketing managers, ceo’s and webmasters think.

    Ask your users!

  • maurice brown

    google maps coming from google toolbar,very good.